Warnings: Au-ness. Poem. The occasional quote.

Summary: For he is thine, of that there is no doubt! But his father?...We two brothers are longing to know. (Hamlet).

AN: Or why my English teacher should never ask me to write poetry.


Good Gertrude

Good Gertrude, set some watch over your son (v.i.299)

For he is thine, of that there is no doubt!

But his father? We two brothers who loved you dear

Who love you still, even in death's misbegotten claws,

Who will love you and you alone, Gertrude,

Are longing to know.

Gentle Gertrude, don't lie—

It less lovely than thy form permits.

For if every word you speak be poison,

Then know that some will pass thine own sweet lips

And murder thee in thine incestuous sheets.

Grateful Gertrude,

We keep your secret

Like dogs, who love you always, always, always

With ne'er a care: in home, in palace, in garden, in wood

In death's day, confined to fast in fires, (i.v.12)

In life's dream haunted by that primal eldest curse upon't (iii,iii,37)

But whose, Gertrude?

This brother who weareth that poisoned crown?

This brother who weareth that maddened clown?

This devil who stole you? Or that devil who killed you?

Ghastly Gertrude,

Your silence murders us!

Silence—like blades, like knives, like poisoned cups

Like hearts withering away beneath the assault of mad love

Answer Gertrude, lest we leave your fate to heaven

Need you rosemary? Pansies? Poppies? Hemlock?

Remember, wretched one, vile serpent, lovely succubus,

Or we lay them all on your grave

Remember, Gertrude, that the gentlest of these is rosemary

And that's for remembrance—remembrance of our love (iv.v.179)

Remembrance of your son who hath no father

Remembrance of all this woe you brought to us—

May its thorn lodge in your bosom

And pierce thine soul

So even heaven will know you for what you are

A whore, unpacking your heart with words alone.(ii,ii,586)

So sweet, so bittersweet, that you know not

What you are, in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed (iii,iv,92)

Oh, Grisly Gertrude, how we loathe you

How we long to see you take a sip

From that poisoned cup from which we have drunk

How we long to see you suffer the wrath of heaven

When Heaven sees the devil glittering in your eye

And how we long to know the father of your son

For we will take his life and set his head upon that pike

Next to yours, fairest demoness.

Good Gertrude, know that we love you still

But set some watch over your son for we love him not.